Latest plan in Cuba-Florida Orchestra exchange hits roadblock

Posted on: January 30, 2013

In Monday (1/28) Tampa Bay Times (Florida), John Fleming writes, “The Florida Orchestra has run into the first real glitch in its cultural exchange with Cuba. On Friday, the orchestra learned it had to postpone plans to send concertmaster Jeffrey Multer to perform on Feb. 10 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba in Havana. The reason: The Office of Foreign Asset Control, part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, was unable to process the orchestra’s application for a license to spend money in Cuba in time for the trip, scheduled to begin Feb. 4. Under the U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba, the license from OFAC is necessary for travel to the island. … In September 2011, a wind quintet from the orchestra traveled to Havana for a concert to inaugurate the exchange, and there was no problem in securing the license. This time, the orchestra applied almost seven weeks before Multer’s departure, but OFAC is getting more applications these days as U.S. organizations move to take advantage of loosening of restrictions on travel to the island. … Multer was going to be the soloist in the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Cuban orchestra, and there were also plans for him to give master classes. [Orchestra President Michael] Pastreich and other managers were to accompany him to begin laying the groundwork for a proposed trip by the entire orchestra in 2014.”

Posted January 30, 2013